And Now, Here Is The Weather Forecast

Warning sign on the outskirts of Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen, Svalbard

I was thinking, only fairly recently, that I seem to be escaping Fibro Fog. I had noticed signs of Fibro Fog soon after my diagnosis, but it hadn’t hung around long. Oh, how easy it is to deceive oneself! I was conveniently ignoring the more subtle manifestations of Fibro Fog. Actually, I don’t believe I was deliberately ignoring them: I simply wasn’t recognising them for what they were. As I look back, I reealise the signs were there, all along.

In my defence, I believe some of the problem is connected to the long-standing anxiety and depression that I have. I think there is a considerable overlap between the effects of those and the Fibro Fog: it really isn’t easy to define where one ends and the other begins. Mind you, it probably doesn’t matter, does it? Whatever you call what happens to my brain, the effects are pretty much the same.

Events this week have shown just how muzzy the workings of my brain now are. It has been a shock, both to FPR and to me. Throughout our relationship, it has tended to be me who has dealt with the admin-type stuff in the household, and it has worked well – until now… However, this week, we have both seen some of the strange mistakes I have made. Some of the mistakes are amusing, but some could (and almost did) have serious consequences. It is quite a concern. Not only that, but it is annihilating my self-esteem. I had already accepted that my ability to cope has shrivelled away, but now I have to face the fact that what is in my head is not necessarily the same as what I see, hear or say.

I feel like an idiot. It is difficult for me to trust or believe in myself so heaven only knows how FPR is going to cope with it.

Believe me, it ain’t nice.


One Thing Leads To Another

Morocco, February 2012

This week, FPR and I returned from a much-needed and long-awaited holiday. Despite all the “stuff” that has been going on, I think we both benefitted from the holiday. I found that often I needed to sleep after breakfast and, again, before dinner but was able to do all sorts of things during the times that I was awake, so the Fibro wasn’t causing me any particular problems.

During the last few days of our holiday I received a message and dealt with its contents, but it did leave a slightly unpleasant taste in my mouth. Yesterday the same issue arose again. I thought it had been successfully dealt with but, like a loose tooth, it keeps nagging away. Unfortunately, for the past year, I have been completely unable to cope with unpleasantness or stress which has meant that the current matter has knocked me out of kilter. That has affected my mood and state of mind which has, in turn, affected the Fibro. The sorts of symptoms I am experiencing are mainly brain fog – which is a nuisance as I need to sort my medication into the daily boxes – and sudden bursts of pain. I haven’t had the pain appear like this before: it’s almost as if the pain is saying “If you prod the fibro, it will make me leap up and make myself felt”. So…

I would like to send a huge “thank you” to everyone involved in nudging the Fibro monster into action: it was exactly what I needed to help dispel the “feel good” factor that I brought back from holiday.

Something, Or Not Something?

Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen. August 2017

It’s been a bit of a break since my last post because not much has been happening, although quite a bit has been happening. Sounds like nonsense, doesn’t it? It isn’t nonsense, honestly.

As far as the Fibro is concerned, it’s true that not much has been happening – well, until the past few days. Where Life is concerned, things have been rather different, however. For a change, the Stuff has been happening in FPR’s family, not mine, but it does have an effect on me, of course.

What I have found is that the happening of Stuff has been accompanied by tiredness. I hesitate to call it fatigue as it hasn’t been quite like fatigue. The tiredness has been a slight nuisance, nothing more, except…

At the weekend, I went out with my son and his family for lunch at a local garden centre. I had hoped to accompany them to where they were going in the afternoon but didn’t feel quite up to it. During lunch we agreed that I would run an errand, to save him some time. When I moved in my chair to stand up, it became obvious that I wasn’t going to be able to fulfil that undertaking: I could feel Fatigue rushing towards me.

We headed towards the Exit, pausing to look at a display. As far as I was concerned, that pause was a mistake so I left them and returned home. By the time I got home I was shattered. In fact, I felt quite unwell. Throughout the afternoon and evening that feeling didn’t abate and, by the time I went to bed, my body felt alien. I had begun to feel pains in my arms that I hadn’t felt before. They differed from the pains I had been experiencing prior to taking turmeric – certainly, they felt sharper. Those pains continued through to the next day. I am sure that they were a direct result of me feeling so tired. Consequently, I feel that I need to avoid extreme tiredness, as far as I am able. Of course, it is not always possible, but I will certainly try. Maybe, it was coincidence and the Fibro has moved on a bit, but it has to be worth trying to avoid something that gives a good impression of a trigger.

* I drafted this post a couple of weeks ago but haven’t been able to publish it because accessing the internet has been difficult.

Waking and Sleeping

Morocco, February 2012

It’s very easy to become anxious about one’s sleep patterns. How often do we hear someone talking about how they “can’t sleep”? Actually, how often do we, ourselves, say those words? I know I used to talk about lack of sleep (maybe that should say “complain about”) quite often.

You might think that sleep, or the lack thereof, would be high on my list of grumbles, but, actually, it isn’t. Lack of restorative sleep is a well-known symptom of Fibromyalgia. Luckily, I don’t seem to have that particular problem: when I sleep I am refreshed by it, even if I sleep for only a few hours overnight.

In the past, stress has greatly affected my sleeping, but not always in the way you might think. There have been just a few occasions where a sudden stressful event has caused me to become overwhelmingly tired and to sleep deeply for many hours. I think it was my brain’s way of escaping whatever awful thing was happening. It was always strange as the events were of a kind that one might imagine would make sleep impossible. As I say, that happened rarely, more usually I would struggle to sleep. (My late husband would sometimes deliberately bore me to sleep, if I was having a rough time of things, by talking about a subject that interested him but had the opposite effect on me. Most times it worked like a dream!)

Over the past four or five years, I have realised that worrying about the amount of sleep I have is pointless. I believe that if one begins to actually worry about sleep, the whole problem grows exponentially. When I am going through a period of disturbed sleep, I simply accept it. It is a benefit of Fibromyalgia [yes, really, there is a benefit!] that I can sit in an armchair, with my legs up, and fall asleep. In fact, it’s not particularly unusual for me to fall asleep more easily in the chair than in bed! So, if I am lying in bed awake, I am quite likely to get up and go downstairs. I might have a cup of coffee, do some knitting or sewing or, perhaps, watch TV. Sometimes I will fall asleep in the chair, or on the sofa, and at other times I’ll go back to bed. The one thing I won’t do is worry about it.

Obviously, my situation means that I am able to leave the sleep to sort itself out without it causing me too many problems. I no longer go to work and I have no dependants, so my time is my own. I am very lucky to be in that position, unlike so many other Fibro Warriors who have partners, children and homes to organise. However, please don’t think that I take my good fortune for granted. I have had some truly awful times in my life and long ago reached the point where I learned to enjoy and appreciate every good time that came along.


Another Lesson Learned

Singapore, 2015

I am pleased to say that this week hasn’t been too bad. Yes, there’s been fatigue, but it has simply been a nuisance rather than dragging me way down. Also, pain has been minimal. I should add, at this point, that I began taking the turmeric capsules last weekend. Consequently, I cannot be sure whether it is the Fibro that has been better this week, or whether the turmeric is a wonder product that began annihilating it as soon as I popped the first capsule in my mouth! I think it more likely to be coincidence.

What I have learned this week is that the Fibro is very reactive to environment and stress, even in the very short term.

Peter and I were busy working on a particular task, one day this week. Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond the control of either of us, things were not going as well as we had hoped – you know the sort of thing: one step forward, two steps back. I began to feel frustrated which led to feelings of agitation, then on to tiredness, verging on exhaustion, plus a general feeling of not being well. I said I was having a break and went to sit down. After 10 or 15 minutes, all of those feelings I had been experiencing were calming down and I felt able to face the task again. It had been an odd sensation, one which I wasn’t aware of having felt previously. Understandably, Peter had misread the signs I was apparently giving off. He thought that I was feeling too unwell to continue and was, I think, quite concerned for my wellbeing.

I think that what had happened was that I had been stressed and overwhelmed by the situation, which had led to me suffering several Fibro symptoms, albeit for a  very short time. Once I had taken myself out of the situation and had some “time out”, I quickly recovered my equilibrium.

The experience was a valuable lesson about how stress can bring on a sort of ‘mini’ Fibro attack and, also, how taking “time out” for just a short while can alleviate those symptoms.


Taking Care Of Oneself, Bossy-Style


Last time I posted on here I mentioned that I was coming off the Amitriptyline and not replacing it with any other medication for the Fibromyalgia. Having gradually reduced the Amitriptyline, I took my final dose just over a week ago. So far, things are going well. OK, I know it’s only been a week but it’s still worth recording how the Fibro has been behaving.

I have been having some of what I call the “side” or “small” symptoms, but, by and large, they are easily manageable. The nausea hasn’t cleared up completely which makes me wonder if it had a different root cause, all along. Alternatively, the cause may have changed during the time I was coming off the Amitriptyline: time will tell. I have had some dizziness, including one very unpleasant bout, but it hasn’t caused any real problems in my day-to-day life. The tinnitus is not as instrusive as it was whilst I was on the Amitriptyline. My internal thermometer is playing silly wotsits, but it’s not a problem – in fact, it’s quite novel to have cold feet! As for the tiredness, it has increased slightly but is not a big issue. I have been keeping strange hours lately as I’ve had to make lots of telephone calls to Australia in the middle of the night! Generally, if I’ve been on the phone a lot during the night, I have a bit of a lie-in in the morning, which seems to be keeping the worst of the tiredness at bay.

What I have noticed, lately, is that I am not doing much. Usually, whenever I sit in my armchair, I do some knitting, crocheting or sewing. However, over the past two or three weeks or so, I have spent an unusual amount of time just sitting doing nothing, or surfing the net. I seem to be happy to live life more slowly, at the moment – and that’s perfectly fine. After several months of extreme stress, now that half of that stress has lifted, it feels ‘safe’ to allow myself to slow down. In fact, I have slowed down to such an extent that I am actually relaxing! I can definitely feel a very welcome difference in the way that I am. Not only that, but I have even been told how well I look, by several people!

Perhaps my ‘baby’ boy was right about the Fibro disappearing, now that the cause has gone?!?

The Radical Option


Do you ever go “commando”? Or ride bareback? If you do you’ll be able to identify with what I’m about to do…

I went to see Dr. Azeer this morning – oh, and that is a story in itself! Anyway, to get back to the point, I saw him to discuss the side effects of the Amitriptyline that I have been experiencing i.e. nausea. As usual, he asked me a few questions about what has been happening, in order to get a feel for how life is treating me, before moving on to health matters. At that point I explained that I had reduced my dose of Amitriptyline due to the nausea and that, when I put the dose back up, the nausea had returned. We reviewed the medications that I had tried and what the next step could be. He mentioned the possibility of trying Pregabalin. However, I wasn’t keen on taking it. I don’t really know why I was reluctant, I certainly hadn’t had any feelings about it one way or the other prior to going into see him. This was where things got radical! I suggested not taking Pregabalin but, rather, going without any medication for the Fibromyalgia, for a while.

I explained that the Fibro had been behaving quite well recently. I also told him about what my younger son had said concerning the possibility of the Fibro getting better now that the “cause” of it had gone. We agreed that it would be worth me having a period without taking any medication specifically for the Fibro. As I said to him, if the Fibro starts causing problems I can always contact him to ask for some medication.

So, that’s it: I’m going ‘commando’! I’m living with the Fibro without my (drugs) clothes on. Wish me luck!

You Might Say It’s Been Quiet But…

April Sunrise

There doesn’t seem to have been much happening here lately, does there? Well, actually, that’s completely wrong as a huge amount has been happening. So much, in fact, that Fibromyalgia hasn’t really had much of a look in. That doesn’t mean that it hasn’t been making itself felt – it has – but, rather, that I haven’t really had much of a chance to think about it, except when it decides to bare its teeth. Even then, I have tended to just sort of acknowledge that it is still around and then dismiss it to the back of my mind.

The symptoms I have been having are the ones that I tend to think of as the “side” symptoms, or “small” symptoms. By that I mean that they are inconvenient, uncomfortable and unpleasant, but they don’t exactly stop me from doing things. However, again, I think that adrenalin has had an enormous part to play in this. Some of the stresses of the past three months increased considerably recently which meant that I had to focus on certain things.

Luckily the dizziness and nausea didn’t prevent me from doing everything that needed to be done. They were certainly a nuisance and felt rather nasty – particularly the nausea – but, in order to get everything done, I would do some things, rest, do some more, rest again and so on. It was handy that the nausea tended to hit me during the evenings or nights, so it didn’t interfere too much with what I was doing. Phew!

Last week, the adrenalin wasn’t coursing around my body quite so vigorously. Consequently I felt drained. It wasn’t fatigue in the way that I have had it previously with the Fibro. Rather, it was an empty, lacklustre sort of feeling. I didn’t try to fight it as I knew that I needed to take care of myself. I have been running “on empty” for quite some time so was in dire need of some “down time”, so I simply took things easy last week.

Because of the reappearance of the nausea, I decided to reduce my dose of Amitriptyline last week. By the middle of last week I felt brighter so I increased the dose back to its previous level… Bad move. The nausea returned almost as soon as I took that higher dose! Accordingky, I have made an appointment to see my GP to discuss where we go from here. I really don’t want to continue taking the Amitriptyline: as well as causing nausea, it also puts me off eating savoury foods. In addition, I think it may be to blame for the increase in intensity of my tinnitus, which has been well and truly making itself felt. I don’t remember ever having suffered tinnitus at these levels previously.

Anyway, I am due to see Dr. Azeer early (too early!) on Wednesday morning so that we may discuss my medication. Keep your eyes peeled for an update from me, after that appointment.

All Bets Are Off


I spoke too soon. I should have just kept quiet, shouldn’t I? Why did I tempt fate?

Although I don’t think I had mentioned it on here, when speaking to friends, if they asked me how things were going, I was able to tell them that the biggest stresses in my life had eased a bit in the last few days. Huh! That didn’t last long so “all bets are off”!

Yesterday morning I decided to have my breakfast quite soon after getting up: I was hungry as I hadn’t eaten much on Saturday. Breakfast consisted on two slices of toast so it wasn’t exactly huge. A while later, I was hammered by fatigue, but not just fatigue: it was accompanied by overwhelming nausea. I felt very, very unwell. I was torn between lying down to sleep or ‘dashing’ (yeah, right!) to the bathroom. The urge to sleep won.

Now, nausea is a difficult one as there are several possible causes:
Gastric bug, or

As well as the nausea, the rest of my digestive system felt a bit dodgy. It didn’t feel the way it normally would if I had a bug, but it certainly didn’t feel good. So, given the evidence, it seemed reasonable to assume that I had picked up a bug. That meant that I had to cancel a proposed visit from my son and his family – really disappointing.

Eventually, as the day wore on, I started to feel better, although far from good, making me realise that it wasn’t a bug that had caused the nausea. Oh well, probably the Fibro, then. Normal service resumed and, as that happened, all those ‘lovely’ stresses began to reappear, beginning with my mother. Those mother-related problems built up and up, causing my stress level to similarly increase, and now my sister’s condition is becoming more worrisome as well.

Do you know what? Sometimes, just sometimes, life stinks!

There is one good thing about Fibro, though. Yes, there really is – for me, anyway. It gives me cold feet! Yes, I know – I’m weird. But, for years and years and years I have suffererd from hot feet, so for my feet to be cold is sheer bliss!

New Things Are Happening

Tree at Aphrodisias

The major stresses in my life recently are continuing. The levels of stress vary but are consistently high and the impact on my health and wellbeing becomes more apparent.

My mood has lowered during these last three weeks and I am having to monitor myself carefully to ensure that I don’t slide down into the dark pit. The situation vis-a-vis anxiety is slightly different, as there have been fluctuations in the level. Generally speaking, I have been suffering more anxiety lately and have had to resort to taking some of my emergency medication on occasion. I really do keep that medicine as a last resort so, having had to take some, is disappointing. Disappointing but not surprising.

As for the Fibromyalgia, I am still of the opinion that I am very lucky. Considering how difficult life has been for some time, I am amazed that my symptoms have not been worse than they have. I am definitely getting more tired, more often and the fatigue is also more apparent. In case you are wondering about why I use the two words “tiredness” and “fatigue” I will explain. I use “tiredness” to describe the times when I feel sleepy and when I feel the sort of tired anyone might feel after physical exertion. “Fatigue”, on the other hand, describes when my energy suddenly disappears and I feel as though I am trying to walk through a wall.

I have previously mentioned that the tinnitus has increased to a level that makes it more difficult to ignore. I am mainly hearing a level tone in my ears, albeit rather loud, but at least it is only a single tone and the ticking and other noises appear to have abated.

One symptom that has decided to make an appearance is pain. It has been generalised pain, all over my body, and low level. I feel stiff and it seems as though I ache everywhere. Not only that, but at times when I am moving around, the best I can manage is an undignified shuffle. However, I am very thankful that the pain has been mild and I have not needed to resort to painkillers – plenty of time for those in the future.