Try a bit of relaxation

Have you ever tried meditation, hypnosis? Press play ▶️ to try this Fibromyalgia Pain Relief Hypnosis. You can find other things I’ve tried on my playlist ➡️

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Another challenge faced – Don’t give up!

As I said in my last post my anxieties have taken over my life. Only now do I realise how much I have missed out on over the years. Now that I have had to fly to Italy to visit my sick grandfather has it sunk in that I have missed years of time with my loved ones.

Four years ago I flew to Italy for the first time in many years, I was terrified to go. It was six months after being diagnosed with my AS so I had no idea how I would cope with sitting for three hours on a plane and certainly no idea if could cope without having a panic attack. I used to love flying, it was the sea that terrified me. I can’t even tell you how it started to be honest. I suddenly felt suffocated on the tube and on planes, even in certain shops.

So as I was saying four years ago I would say decided it was more pushed to go to Italy. My Doctor gave me Amytriptalyne and Diazepam to help me relaxing the flight. So I reached the airport anxious, IBS flares up as always but then I feel ok. I distract myself looking around the duty free shops, then our gate is announced and we make our way.

All the way to the plane I feel the anxiety, the tightness in my chest, my head spinning from the dizziness and I feel so hot. I remember my mum stepping into the plane first then as I follow her on I gasp for air. My chest goes tighter and all I want to do is turn around and to back home. I grab for my mum and she drags me forward to my seat. I managed the flight there with my usual thoughts. It’s too hot, I can’t breath, I can’t get off the plane!

Things were not much better ones I got to Italy. I probably go into that another time. My flight back was a bit better but I had taken meds so out of it I didn’t understand much 😂🤣

So back to the present day. The difference for one is that I’m on antidepressants to help with my pains, thankfully they also help with fatigue and anxiety, secondly I decided I was going, I wasn’t being pushed or nagged to go which only makes more anxious. Pushing someone to do something they are terrified of doing is the worst thing you could ever do. A person suffering from anxiety is already putting enough pressure on themselves, they don’t need others adding to it because they think they know best! If you haven’t experienced it, you don’t have a clue.

So the day before the flight it hit me that I was going to get on a plane and that I was going to see someone I loved dearly in lots of pain. The morning of the flight we (my mum and I) were up at 2:30am and made our way to the airport. I was actually fine, no trouble breathing, no upset tummy. I had to remind my mum a few times not to fuss as fussing makes me worse. I got on the plane and no gasping for air like last time, was feeling very positive.

My plan was to write this post on the flight or watch a movie to stay calm but I did neither, instead I took photos of the beautiful views as we flew over Europe. I was excited, I couldn’t wait to see my relatives and certainly couldn’t wait to see my lovely grandfather. The other achievement whilst I was away was that I got back my safe place. When I was having CBT I was told to think of a place I felt safe either when I was having an anxious episode or meditating. Due to my experience the last time I went to Italy this beautiful little village in the mountains no longer felt safe. Thankfully after this year’s trip that has all changed for the better again. I felt safe on the plane, in the village, travelling around in general.

I had actually started writing this post weeks ago, but obviously once I got to Italy my grandfather’s health took priority. I cherish that week I had with him. Unfortunately he left us a few days after we flew back home to the UK. His suffering was over and yes I have cried but I am remembering the good times and there were so many, that is what is keeping from spiralling into depression and giving up on all I hAve worked so hard for these past few years.

I have just got back from seeing my Occupational therapist and consultant and they are so pleased with what I have achieved these past few months. I hope this story although it has a sad ending has motivated or inspired someone out there not to give up. It’s a long road but we are Warriors, we are survivors, #WeCanDoThis

Today I’m facing my fears

So today I’m having to be a big girl and face my fears. About 11 years ago I started suffering from anxiety. I felt closterphobic using the tube, aeroplanes, even going into certain shops. I have had CBT which is a therapy I highly advise and this helped alot but it was still there, my fears. To be honest I’ve had hypnotherapy too for my flying issues which is not what you see on TV. On many sessions I found I also left in less pain, I guess because I was so relaxed. I’ll talk about that another time.

My anxieties did not truly improve until I started taking antidepressants for my pains. I was a bit dissapointeed in a way, I wanted to fight my demons on my own but it was a massive relief and weight off my shoulders finally being able to get on the tube and go see West End shows which I had missed out on for so many years, visiting family, going to Art exhibitions in Central London. I love London and had missed it all so much. You can’t imagine what I have achieved in this past year. I will share at some point.

So I have been seeing a specialist to help with my fatigue which was getting so bad. If you have read any of my other posts you know what I have experienced. So although I have been using the tube I’m always with someone. My Dad has been my support when going to this hospital. Today he is unwell and I am having to travel on my own. Yes my IBS has flared but actually writing this post and listening to my music is acting like a good distraction. Distraction is definitely what seems to help me. Sometimes breathing exercises seem to make me feel worse, even reading or listening to music. I definitely find writing down how I am feeling as it’s happening is a good way of getting the feelings off my chest and distracting myself at the same time.

I’m half way there and feeling proud of myself. The train is not crowded and I managed to get a seat so that also helps.

My back is killing me now that I’m here. Only had to walk from tube, went up one flight of stairs then gave in to the other thing I hate, lifts.

We seem to have all the battles to fight. As if the pain isn’t enough we have to have the emotional pain too. The depression, anxiety and all the rest….. but this is why we are warriors. We fight, we may give up every now and again but we painfully pick ourselves off the floor and start again. We are warriors!

Do I or don’t I?

So the past few weeks (Easter Holidays) haven’t exactly gone to plan, nothing new there. Everyone in the household has been ill with chest infections and I’ve been feeling rough and anxious that I might get it too. Being on Anti-tnf weakens the immune system so more prone to infections. Remarkably though I’ve not got it, I’ve just generally felt rubbish, had sore throat, sinus headaches killing so generally spend all day for over a week doing nothing. I know, not good but just can’t be bothered so of course as expected my lower back and hips are killing me.

So the “Do I or don’t I” use a walking aid?

See with me when I feel like this I feel worse walking and definitely if I’m standing still. So was contemplating buying a walking stick as on Sunday I was so bad I had to use an umbrella to keep me steady and then shopping trolley. Today I tried a crutch my mum had been given after a knee replacement. I felt so old…..I’m in my 40’s, I’m not all. I saw my reflection in a shop window and thought oh my god!

It didn’t make the pain any better but when I got a jolt of pain at least it kept me steady. So I don’t know what to do. Do I buy one of those folding walking sticks? I don’t think I can carry anything else in my back to be honest, I have a great little Tens machine in my handbag then I forget I have it so do I need anymore nonsense in my bag?

Acupressure Mat – I’m always willing to try something new

An acupressure mat, is a self-applied acupuncture device commonly made of a foam mattress covered in cotton sacking and embedded with hard plastic disks containing protruding spikes.

I’m all for trying holistic medicines. I don’t like taking drugs for the sake of taking them hoping that this time they will work. So I ordered this mat from Amazon for £25. There seems to be a massive difference in prices going up to over £100 and no idea what what them better but they all looked the same. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Watch this video on how to use the mat