Birthday, Blog, Poetry, Writing

Birthday Verse…

chocolate cupcake with white and red toppings
Photo by Jess Bailey on Pexels.com


🎈
Birthday Verse 🎈

Today

Is

A Special Day.

To

Celebrate

Your Birth.

We were

Blessed

When you

Arrived

Here on

Earth.

Take time to

Unwrap

Presents, 🎁

And eat plenty

Of cake, 🍰

Then.

Choose a

Moment,

To relax,

And savour

Every

Kind thought

This day

Has brought.

🎁 Happy Birthday! 🎁

Poem by Spiral White

I found a Cake meditation  on Insight timer recently; I thought was  a really good way of doing something mindfully.

Ancient woodland, Chronic illness, Fibromyalgia, Invisible illness, Trees, Uncategorised, Walking, Woodland

Just a walk…

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Bluebell Woods Photo by Nick

Now we are staying home, my one walk a day is more important that ever before.

I have to admit walking is something I hated, as a child. I remember having to go on walks and thinking, how much further, my legs will fall off in a minute!

So, what changed my opinion of walking?

I first started walking regularly before I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, about fifteen years ago. I’d been suffering with lower back pain and sciatica, which got progressively worse.  I was unable to work. My doctor said I need to go to physio first; to get the muscles and joints moving and when I’m mobile to start walking regularly.

At the time I thought it was really unhelpful advice as I could barely move, let alone walk anywhere!  But after a few painful physio sessions. I started with short bursts at first of 5 to 10 minutes, progressing to longer walks.  Now I do a regular walk every day and have not suffered from back pain so much; I also have more energy to do things.

I find my walk stimulating now; especially on a fine sunny day, it can really lift your mood.

Observing nature and seeing trees come into leaf as spring approaches is really refreshing.

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Bluebells Photo by Nick

I live near a park and I can vary my daily walks through wooded areas and quiet residential streets. I usually spend about 25-45 minutes on a walk and vary the terrain.

Being a fibromyalgia sufferer I notice any temperature drop as the weather changes, straight away. My joints feel stiff, I get more pain and all my symptoms get progressively worse. I still try to keep active if I can everyday by walking. I wear layers and thermals to keep warm.

I have a pair of waterproof walking boots; which are great to wear in heavy rain. I bought mine from a outdoor clothing and footwear shop in the winter sale. I’ve also invested in a waterproof jacket,  woolly hat, thermal gloves and socks.
I find it difficult keeping my hands and feet warm, when it is really cold. Research shows we loose most heat from our hands and feet; so it makes sense to keep these areas as warm as possible.

If you plan to begin walking and have not exercised recently it would be advisable to start slowly first. If your joints are very stiff it might help to try gentle exercises before you start to warm up the joints.

When you feel ready to start put on some comfortable shoes and suitable waterproof clothing for the weather.  Start off slowly with short bursts of 5 to 10 minutes and gradually build up from this.  You will find you get more confidence and can do longer distances.

For more information about walking and exercise have a look at the NHS Walking  guide. Check before setting out the latest update in your area, on staying safe during the Coronavirus pandemic.

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Blog, Chronic illness, Diet, Exercise, Fibromyalgia, Invisible illness, Meditation

It’s #Fibromyalgia Awareness Day

lightning on the sky
Photo by Ayu Shakya on Pexels.com

Fibromyalgia affects around 1 in 20 people. Although most people have no idea what fibromyalgia is; let alone what it’s like to live with.

So, here’s a brief guide for anyone who doesn’t know anything about fibromyalgia.

What is fibromyalgia?

Its a long term chronic health condition characterised by pain. The pain ranges in severity on a daily basis from mild symptoms to severe pain in changing areas of the body.

The main symptoms are:

Pain throughout the whole body 

Joints and muscles feel stiff

Quality of sleep can be poor

Feeling tired and fatigued 

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

Extreme Sensitivity 

Cognitive problems, feeling confused, or dazed, sometimes called Fibro fog

Headaches

Depression 

Anxiety 

Painful periods in women 

The symptoms can vary from person to person.

Symptoms can get better or worse from time to time.

Factors that influence this are:

  • the amount of stress you are experiencing 
  • how much daily exercise you have
  • and changes in climate and temperature 

Further information is available on the NHS website.              

If you think you may be suffering from fibromyalgia, consult your doctor or health professional. They will run a variety of tests to get an accurate diagnosis of your condition.

There’s no cure….Yes you did read that correctly; there’s no cure, but…

I’ve lived with fibromyalgia for 15 years and found some times are really tough.

The single most upsetting factor for me has been other people’s perception of ‘living with fibromyalgia’. They almost always get it wrong. So, if you meet someone who has fibromyalgia, tread carefully. Don’t jump to conclusions about how they feel. Listen to them. After all they are living with it on a daily basis.

The positives are my symptoms are still there, but have improved greatly since I was first diagnosed.

I have been able to boost my general health through diet, exercise  and meditation .

This is a short post about symptoms, living with fibromyalgia is another story…

If you would like to read more about what helped me, follow my blog and have a look at my Fibromyalgia Self Help Pages.

Blog, Pier, Southend on Sea

The View from Southend Pier

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Southend Pier Photo by Spiral White 

I’m revisiting a previous post from a few years ago. It’s about #Southend on Sea on the Thames Estuary in Essex.

It’s a British seaside resort with an adventure playground, sandy beach, parks, gardens, shops, library and restaurants. 

For me; Southends main attraction is the pier, which is the longest pleasure pier in the world, at 1.3 miles long.

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Fishing boat Photo by Spiral White 

The pier was opened to the public in 1830 and started out at 600 feet long. The pier was originally designed to allow tourist boats to disembark, from London.

As it was deemed too short for this purpose it was extended to 7000 feet by 1848. This distance ensured that it was the longest pier in Europe and would attract plenty of visitors.

A mini train track was laid on the pier and a service for passengers operates every day the pier is open, to and from the promenade.

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The Kursaal Photo by Spiral White 

The Kursaal was one of the worlds first amusement parks. It was opened in 1901 and is a Grade II listed building.

The building was designed by Campbell Sherrin and was constructed with a huge dome.

It started out as a huge fairground and then a zoo was added. Nowadays it’s been converted into a bowling alley, a casino and an amusement arcade.

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Sailing boat Photo by Spiral White

We had a great day out in Southend and walked along the pier stopping for tea and biscuits in the cafe used to film Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast, TV series.

The pier has been used in a number of films, adverts and TV programs including Minder in the ending credits.

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Looking towards Southend Photo by Spiral White