It’s been a very long time since I’ve written anything in this blog… but I thought it was high time to start a series of posts about my current life with fibromyalgia.  So, what even is fibromyalgia?  Let’s break it down a bit.

  • It’s also known as Fibromyalgia Syndrome, FM, FMS, or just ‘fibro’.
  • The word itself comes from fibro-, meaning ‘fibrous tissues’, myo-, ‘muscle’, and algos, ‘pain’, which translates to ‘pain of the muscles and connective tissues’.
  • Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain condition, meaning that the pain is long-term.
  • It is characterised by two traits known as hyperalgesia – feeling a pain stimulus more intensely and longer than normal; and allodynia – feeling non-pain stimuli (like pressure or cold) as pain.
  • It has much in common with, and clusters together with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Depression, Anxiety, Restless Leg Syndrome, Myofascial Pain Syndrome and Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction –  but is recognised as distinct from all of these.

This is just scratching the surface, though, as fibromyalgia has a whole galaxy of other symptoms aside from pain.  These can include (but are not limited to): severe fatigue, cognitive impairment, joint stiffness, limb weakness, chronic headaches, digestive difficulties, body temperature fluctuations, skin tingling and muscle twitching.  On top of this, there is no known cause, no cure, no widely accepted treatment – and as one consultant rheumatologist helpfully told me, “if you put 100 doctors in a room, you’d have 100 different opinions about whether it is even real or not”.

It certainly feels real.

Medical definitions and lists of symptoms are all very well, but it can be very difficult to understand what it is actually to live with such a nebulous condition.  So I plan to explore and explain my experiences in this ‘Life With Fibromyalgia’ series, and I hope it offers some insight into a widely misunderstood illness.


Here are a few quotations from a recent BBC article about women and sport:

“British women are held back by a culture that urges them to be thin rather than healthy”

“only 5% of sports media coverage is devoted to women and 0.5% of commercial investment.

“at the age of 14, only 12% of girls are doing what is considered enough physical activity, half the figure for boys of the same age.

Unfortunately, this is not news to me.  Read the rest of this entry »

True fact:  I have never written a Haiku.  So, as a wee challenge to myself, I thought I would attempt it now.

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I’ve been in Sheffield for about 16 months now, so I think it’s high time I tell you a little more about where I live.

I live in a little terraced house on City Road which, prior to the building of the Parkway, was the main route into town.  Now it is much quieter, albeit served by many buses.  It is one of the city’s famed seven hills, and is quite formidably steep.  Apart from that it seems to be a rather average place to live.

Not so. Read the rest of this entry »

Owls about that then?

I was looking for a simple, cheap and cute little craft project, and stumbled across an idea for ‘loo roll owls’.  I’ve always loved owls –  there’s something about their wide-eyed gaze and elegant stillness that fascinates me.  So what better inspiration for a little craft project than these night hunters?

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How to waste your life

I was recently online, when a friend popped up on Facebook chat and remarked, “you’re always on here!”  A fair observation, I suppose, but why?  Well I’m not working at the moment due to my health problems, so I do frequently while away time on the old blue favourite.  But what else am I doing with my time?

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Further to my recent post about the side effects of my medication, I realised I am experiencing one that Those In The Know – in person or in the literature – have never mentioned. This side effect is bizarre and twofold: a lack of imagination, and very vivid dreams.

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Straight talking

Last week, Dearest Boyfriend was invited to his old school, to give a Q&A talk to sixth formers about university and careers.  He asked me to come along with him, and imagine my surprise when the teacher in charge asked if I would like to speak too.

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Hard to swallow

Medication.  For many people, for many reasons, medication is the means to cope with the illnesses life deals us, in order to live more of a normal life – and this applies to mental as much as physical illnesses.  There are so many different types – but one thing they all have in common, is that they can all have side effects.

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Gingerbread rock

The other weekend, my best friend and I decided to bite the bullet and do something we’ve wanted to do for ages: make a gingerbread house, from scratch.

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