So, How’ve You Been?

Posted: March 2, 2012 in Opinion

These words have been uttered by my Physiotherapist numerous times, and every time she speaks them I want to give her good news, I want to tell her that things are so much better, in fact they’re so good, I’ve started doing acrobatics for cirque de soleil…but if I did I would be telling porkies and I’m sure she would shoot me down with a look that’s just as painful as the kung fu style moves she does on me.

The truth is I have got better, my Fibromyalgia is a lot better than it was when I first saw her, I’m not bent double in pain anymore, and that has to be a good thing!

The pain seems to have settled somewhat, it’s not got any better but it’s not got any worse. I almost seem to know where I am pain-wise and I know what level of pain I can expect, it’s just that now it’s started to appear more on the right side of my body than ever before just to remind me that said shoulder or foot is still there – thanks, I think.

The fatigue has started to hit too and last weekend I simply had to stop what I was doing and lay down, which kinda reminded me of the time I had swine flu – I was so tired it was almost laughable.

I’ve had a good few days this week though, I have been in pain, but not as much, and I’ve had quite a bit more energy too. When I have good days like this, I tend to do as much work as I can and make the most of it, because things could change at any moment.

I’m not letting this get me down though, it’s just something I have to live with and something I’m getting used to. Ok, so when the pain is incredibly bad and I feel like screaming, it’s hard not to get a bit frustrated about things and hide away until the pain goes, but getting down about it? Well that just seems quite an effort.

I recently found out a friend also has Fibromyalgia, and she’s offered her support for when things are hard and to know that there is some support and someone who completely understands what it’s like to have this, is a tremendous help and it makes me want to live with it, rather than be ruled by it.

It’s been suggested that I claim benefits for my Fibromyalgia, but I’m not considered to be bad enough, and it’s also been suggested that I look for other work, but when I don’t know how I’m going to be in 5 minutes time, it’s difficult to plan my day. I would love a little 10-20 hour a week job, but if I cannot move one of my arms or I become so fatigued I have to lie down, I don’t think I would last very long.

I read a leaflet my Physio gave me, it says (Re: work) ‘Until research provides us with better answers you should aim for self-reliance’, and that is what I’m trying to do, I’ve been trying for months in fact because if I work from home I can stop at any given time if I have to. Working from home can be very isolating, which is why I make sure I get out every day, even if it’s just for 10-15 minutes, but it does have its advantages when the weather is good and the work load has lessened, or I find out my sister-in-law and her 3 beautiful children are in town.

So, I have this thing that hurts me and makes me tired, but I do feel quite lucky that it’s not any worse and I am still able to get out and about and see my family, friends and enjoy life. Fibromyalgia is not who I am, Rachel is who I am, I just have to put up with the Fibromyalgia and get on with things, and although that’s easier said than done at times, it’s how I’m determined to look at it.

Rachel x

No Pain No Gain, Apparently

Posted: February 10, 2012 in Opinion, Other

It’s been almost 8 months since I stood up out of my chair to go to bed & felt more pain than I have ever felt in my life, since then not a day has gone by that I haven’t been in varying degrees of pain & it would just be nice to be able to do things without wondering how much whatever it is, is going to hurt.

Before June 2011 I’d experienced a bit of pain from time to time & I was led to believe by Doctor’s that it was due to having flexible joints & whatever joint had appeared to come out, would work its way back in. 

From Nov 2010 – March 2011 I’d had knee, thumb & elbow trouble & although it was occasionally hard to deal with, it stopped eventually, but only for a short period of time.

After numerous Doctor’s appointments, Physiotherapy sessions & being prescribed painkillers & anti-inflammatories that didn’t work but instead spaced me out, I finally got a diagnosis.

I have Fibromyalgia, this is ‘…is a medical disorder characterized by chronic widespread pain and allodynia, a heightened and painful response to pressure‘ (Source: Wkipedia). There are some associated symptoms, but thankfully I don’t have any of them (Sleep disturbance, stress, depression, fatigue, joint stiffness), I just have the pain & to be honest, that is enough!

I don’t like taking painkillers apart from the odd paracetamol now & again, so rather than take some every single day I’ve decided to try to make a difference using food.

You can really make a difference to your health if you eat the right foods, mango & pineapple contain for example natural antibiotics & anti-inflammatories as well as a whole host of other things, & they are a lot more natural than taking medication that contains chemicals that will probably give you some sort of side effects. I’m not against prescribed medication, in some cases it works wonders, but personally if I can medicate using food, then I would rather do that.

This is what I’m doing:

  • I’ve had to reduce the amount of caffeine in my diet (What?? no caffeine??), ok, so I haven’t completely weened myself off it yet, but I will once the tea bags have run out (I promise). Caffeine can cause inflammation in the joints of those with Fibromyalgia.
  • I’m eating more tomatoes & pineapple because these can help er, somehow – can’t remember how exactly, but I love them anyway so it’s no problem.
  • Green tea is also good, so I’m having a cup a day & as it’s a natural antioxidant too, it might help flush out some toxins.
  • I’ve got to keep up with my exercise routine as this will help to keep my joints flexible & make them stronger – which is fine by me!

I’ve only been using this form of treatment since Wednesday so I cannot say if it’s helped at all, & if it doesn’t I’ll look for something else that I can do.

It’s not exactly pleasant knowing that I’ll probably always be in pain, but I’ve got used to it now & it could always be worse.

Whether it’s a shoulder, elbow, wrist, thumb, knee, ankle or whatever that is giving me grief, I still feel fortunate that it’s just Fibromyalgia & not something worse.

So please excuse me if I ever go a little quiet on you or I’m hesitant to do things, it’s quite likely that I’m in a lot of pain. I’m good at disguising how I really feel & I guess that’s why I’ve been on the stage; trust me, I’m not miserable, I’m just trying to ignore the pain & get on with things.

In the past I’ve added videos to help emphasise what I’ve been saying, & I couldn’t really think of one, so I thought this might do, it’s by my favourite singer Marcy Levy (Marcella Detroit) & I guess thinking about it, the title kind of says it all, to be pain free would ‘Feel Good’, enjoy.

Rachel. x


Posted: January 1, 2011 in Books, Opinion

Hello! and Happy New Year!!

How the heck are you? Did you celebrate the new year? or did you go to bed and wake up thinking ‘It’s just another day’?

I was fortunate enough to spend NYE with someone special and had the pleasure of wishing her ‘Happy New Year!’ as the clock struck midnight.

I guess today is just another day, all that’s happened is one of the numbers in the calendar has changed, but it’s an occasion that gives us hope and reason to celebrate, sometimes with friends, families and loved ones, and sometimes by ourselves.

How many resolutions will you stick to this year? I’ve given up making them – did ages ago, cos I never stuck to them! 🙂

I plan to finish the novel I’m working on by June, but we’ll see if that happens – I decided that late last year, so it’s not really a resolution.

2010 was a good year for me, ok so the first 3 months weren’t anything special – a bit sucky tbh, the 4th would have been the same if my 3rd Niece hadn’t been born; but from then on 2010 proved to be a pretty damn good year, and I’m hoping this year will be too – let’s see how my positive mental attitude about it helps!!

I hope 2011 is good for you and you’re able to stick to any resolutions you made, and your wishes come true. I know what I wish for, but I wished for the same things late last year. It’s not that I don’t see a point to making resolutions or thinking ‘New year, fresh start’, like I said, I’ve never been able to keep the resolutions and sometimes I see a brand new day as a fresh start rather than waiting for another year to begin.

You can have a fresh start without much at all changing, it’s all in the mind.

Rachel. x

Day 26

Posted: December 23, 2010 in Opinion

Day 26, Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?

I’m afraid I have, it was 10+ years ago and I was very depressed, I felt there was no need for me to be here.  I felt so alone despite having many friends and a loving family, I felt utterly worthless and in the way. I was at work one day and something happened, I’m not sure what, but it tipped me over the edge. At lunch time I went home and decided to end it all,  thankfully I managed to get help before I did anything.

There was another occasion, at the time my bedroom had a skylight and at night I would lie in bed and look up at the stars wishing I was there. I was having weekly Doctors appointments and seeing other health professionals  too, but I mostly just told them I was getting better, even tho I felt so bad for lying.

I don’t know what tipped me over the edge, but something did, and this time I carried it out, I don’t remember the event, I just remember the tears and pain before and some of the after.

I have never been that low since, and I thank God for bringing me through those incredibly tough times; it’s only been 10+ years, but it feels like a lifetime ago and in some respects it could have been a different person.

It was then that I really started writing, I have more than 40 poems from that period in my life, and many diary entries, it was the writing and the learning to open up that helped more than any medication.

Life is far too precious a thing to give up on, there are so many things to experience and learn. Life is a gift and we each have so much to live for.


Day 24 & 25

Posted: December 22, 2010 in Music, Opinion

Day 24, Make a playlist to someone, and explain why you chose all the songs. (Just post the titles and artists and letter)

Ok, so I’ve finally sat down and worked out a playlist; I have kinda cheated tho and done what another blogger did, and that’s to list songs that were and are relevant to myself rather than someone else – easier methinks.

I cannot promise these are in the correct order re: the years they came out as well as the years they  were relevant to me, but anyway, some may be cheesy, some may not, but at one point they were relevant, and there are those that still are:

Pet shop boys – It’s a sin

Urban Cookie Collective – The key, the secret

Vanilla Ice – Ice ice baby

Ravel’s Bolero

Shakespears Sister – I don’t care

Beatles – Free as a bird

Marcella Detroit – Art of melancholy

Eddi Reader – The right place

Marcella Detroit – I believe

Dr Alban – It’s my life

Shakespears Sister – Hello

Michael Jackson – Leave me alone

Enya – Marble halls

Manics – Roses in the hospital

Grieg – Morning

Spice girls – Viva forever

Bryan Adams – Things will never be the same again

Manics – 4st 7lb

Skunk Anansie –  Twisted (every day hurts)

Manics – From despair to where

Pachelbel – Canon

Melanie C – What if I stay?

Madonna – Jump

Marcella Detroit – Jewel

Madonna – Forbidden love

Skunk Anansie – Weak

Kanye West – Stronger

Amerie – Take control

Hellogoodbye – Here in your arms

Gwen Stefani – cool

Scissor sisters – Kiss you off

Mgmt – Kids

Blue October – Jump rope

Snow Patrol – Chasing cars


Day 25, The reason you believe you’re still alive today.

I’ve had some very testing times in my life, I’ve managed to pull through somehow; there has to be a reason for this and I believe that God has kept me alive, for whatever reason that may be.

I hate to think about some of the things I’ve put my body and other people through, but I’m still here to tell the tale and hope to be around long enough to tell many more.


Day 24…Tomorrow

Posted: December 21, 2010 in Books, Moonletters, Music, Opinion, Second LIfe

Yep, that’s it guys, day 24 will be appearing tomorrow, I’m s’posed to compile a list of songs and I really haven’t had time to think about it yet.

Because rehearsal isn’t on this week I’ve been giving myself jobs to do instead of being there, I’ve done most of them but ‘Day 24’ just isn’t gonna happen. I’m about to finish writing an article for and perhaps jot down some ideas for the novel I’m working on – I’m pleased with the progress thus far and cannot wait to be able to sit down properly again and just focus on it.

Ahh, my flatmate has stopped singing in the shower, haha I think she was singing cos she was pleased to be warm, it’s been so cold today – about -11 which is bloomin freezin, and as she works outside, well it must have been a hundred times worse for her. The heating is on full blast as I write and I have to say it’s all very cozy in here; hope you’re keeping warm too.


We can…

Posted: December 20, 2010 in Books

‘We can lift ourselves out of ignorance, we can find ourselves as creatures of excellence and intelligence and skill. We can be free! We can learn to fly!’

 Jonathan Livingston Seagull By Richard Bach.

Day 23

Posted: December 20, 2010 in Opinion

Day 23, Something you wish you had done in your life.

I wish I had studied computing at college rather than business.

I wish I had the confidence to walk away from a certain someone

I wish I had asked my parents if I could go to  Gymnastics class as a kid, and not keep my desire a secret cos they had little money

I wish all kinds of things, but like I said in the blog yesterday, there’s no point dwelling on the past, you can’t change it.

Days 21 & 22

Posted: December 19, 2010 in Opinion

Day 21, (scenario) Your best friend is in a car accident and you two got into a fight an hour before. What do you do?

It’s simple, I would go and see them, there is no way I would out the fight first, so to speak. With any fight/argument I try to resolve the issue – it’s no good hanging on to things, life is too short; have the argument, get it out in the open and be done with it, or don’t bring it up at all.

Day 22, Something you wish you hadn’t done in your life.

There are a few things I wish I hadn’t done, or handled differently, but life is a journey and a learning process. If I hadn’t done ‘That’ for example, I don’t know how things would have turned out, where I am in my life right now is pretty good, could be better, but couldn’t it always? If I had of done things differently, or not at all, then I wouldn’t be where I am today. Every action has a reaction, an’ all that.

We cannot change the past, we can regret and wish we had done things another way, but what’s the point in dwelling? It won’t change anything. We should be thankful for what we have and strive to learn from our mistakes.


I’m Bendy

Posted: December 17, 2010 in Opinion

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, I probably have, but I’m not going to sift thro previous bleatings of mine to find out (How lazy!)… I’m bendy, my joints are very flexible and many bend further than they should, or in a strange direction.

For years some of my party tricks included such things – and yes, I could even get my legs over my shoulders – I haven’t tried that for a fair while, and I’m not about to!

A good thing about being bendy is that rather than breaking bones, things have just come out of joint and popped back in a few days later.

I was on a bmx ramp (haha) a few years ago and I came crashing down with a thud, I really should have broken my wrist, the way I landed, but I didn’t, it just hurt quite a bit was bruised and eventually just clicked back in (So did some bones in my palm – so weird!)

The bad thing is, and a Doctor told me this as I was growing up that ‘It will cause you problems when you get older’. Just over a week ago it hurt to walk, my right knee decided to misbehave and I was limping a fair bit, down hill was terrible and I could have cried; ibuprofen helped and now the pain has 99% gone – also, I was showing a mate a dance I’d helped – my knee just decided to go back in partially, or do whatever it should have been doing – a bit later, I tried it again, and it worked AGAIN!! Suffice to say since then, the old knee has been 99% ok and I haven’t cursed it.

Today, it was my thumbs turn – aaannnddd it still is my thumbs turn – I think it’s just coincidence that the two have happened in such a short  space of time, it’s not usually that often at all.

I was on my lunch  and my right thumb just decided to hurt, it hurts to move it and I can’t even type using it – sure I’ve wriggled it in all directions and taken painkillers – it’s not the end of the world, the pain does make me gasp and I find myself gritting my teeth, but I know that by sometime next week, all will be forgotten cos my thumb would have gone back to where it should have been.

I’m grateful that things aren’t any worse, they always could be; I could have broken my wrist and maybe some other joints that day on the ramp in Newcastle, and I could decide to be off work with my thumb – but what’s the point? I’m used to this so I’ll plod on, be merry and it will fix itself in no time… just don’t expect a quick response to a text!! (Ouch!)