To all my followers, Happy Halloween, I hope you enjoy my poem…
In the Spooky Graveyard 🎃
Walking the steep
Into the old graveyard
A deep dank mist
Hovers all around me
Darkness is falling
Fall across my path
Into my head
I rest on a bench
Suddenly, behind me
A huge gust
blows leaves high
Into the air
I don’t feel alone
Swiftly I hurry
Back to the gate
A slight terror
Fills my mind
Is it unearthly
Forces at work?
Poem by Nick
Sometimes it’s easier to focus on others to put your own problems into perspective.
You may of read about Florence Nightingale as a student, but you may not be aware of her link to fibromyalgia or indeed Florence, Italy.
She was an inspiring person who despite illness and injury, lived an exceptional life.
Florence was quoted as saying
“There is no part of my life, upon which I can look back without pain”
Florence was born on May 12, 1820, in Florence, Italy, after which she was named. She was the youngest of two children.
Florence was born into a wealthy family and was expected to get married and have a children. Florence rebelled against this stereotype. She had always helped to care for sick people and started working as a nurse.
Florence was sent to nurse injured soldiers during the Crimean War. She proved to be a very dedicated nurse; visiting the injured every evening on a regular basis which started the phrase ‘the Lady with the Lamp’.
Because of her influence in nursing practices unsanitary areas were improved which increased the survival rate of patients.
Florence wrote about her nursing techniques from experience, which formed the basics for standards in nursing care adopted for the profession.
During 1860 St Thomas’ Hospital and the Nightingale School for Nursing was opened.
Florence and fibromyalgia
Florence suffered from an invisible illness after she returned from nursing solders in the Crimea War.
Her symptoms are reminiscent of fibromyalgia; which was not a recognised condition at the time. Florence spent prolonged periods in bed, due to her illness. This was probably triggered by excessive stress carrying out her duties nursing in terrible conditions.
In recent years soldiers from the Gulf War have gone on to develop fibromyalgia after they returned from war. The unbearable stress they were exposed to at that time triggering fibromyalgia.
Florence died on August 13, 1910; she received the Order of Merit in 1907 for her contribution to modern nursing practices. Florence was an amazing woman who cared for others and put others health before her own.
It’s really important to keep as healthy as possible, as your level of stamina fluctuates so much.
When you have Fibromyalgia it is a daunting prospect, keeping fit. Particularly starting out for the first time, with a new exercise.
On a visit to my Physiotherapist recently I mentioned I go walking regularly. She said doing moderate exercise can build up strength and help with mobility.
After I was was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 2004, I found that exercise helped me a lot to keep a reasonable level of mobility. But I struggled to find things I could do.
I have made a list of everything that has helped me that you could try. If you’re starting out try hydrotherapy first and then some gentle flexibility exercises.
I found gentle exercise in a warm water pool can help. The water supports your body and has less impact on muscles and joints.
Research has shown that lying in warm water helps the body to relax and lowers pain perception.
A therapist that specialises in hydrotherapy or a qualified physiotherapist that has a good understanding of fibromyalgia, can help you to work out some exercises.
Your local sports centre or gym may have these facilities and let you have a couple of trial sessions.
If you have limited mobility, sitting exercises could be a better option than other ways of exercise.
Pilates strengthens the body as a whole, the main aim is to improve core strength. Regular sessions can help to reduce the risk of injury by increasing flexibility.
I developed my own tailored exercise routine, by trying out different exercises, from visits to a physiotherapy practitioner.
If you go for physio ask the practitioner for advice and help about what exercises are best for you.
I practice these regularly once a day, for about ten minutes in total. Although, I had to work up to doing this amount gradually at first.
I found walking to be the most accessible and best for my circumstances. Walking can help to boost your energy levels and enjoy nature.
If you suffer from low mood, walking on a regular basis is a good non medical therapy, to help feel more positive.
If you are on a low-income, it’s no problem to try out as there is no sign up charges.
If you are new to walking it is best to start with 5 to 10 minutes at first and gradually increase this as your body gets used to the exercise
You will need to try out a pattern that suits you.
When you first start you may need to get some comfortable shoes and wrap up well with thermal layers on cold days.
Have a look at my post on walking for more tips.
The NHS live well website has a lot of really useful tips to get you active.
I hope this post has helped to give you ideas to improve mobility for Fibromyalgia. My goal is as always to help others with Fibromyalgia and similar invisible illness.
It’s that time of year again when it starts to get cooler, after the baking summer sun. The days grow shorter and leaves on the trees are just starting to change colour.
I’ve written a poem inspired by the changing landscape called Autumn Chill.
🍂 Autumn Chill 🍂
Light picks out the gentle rippling on a lake
Clouds hang heavily in the sky above
Their grey shadows dance clumsily on the water
revealing a light mist in the distance
Splinters of brilliant light highlight treetops
Golden hues glinting their changing colours
The air feels cool and fresh
Still a brief hint of summer lingers
Subtle leaf tones of red, purple, orange and green
Jump towards me from a transforming bush
The weakening sunlight is fading now
Autumn splendour slowly unfolding
Poem by Nick
If you enjoyed reading this poem, take a look at my other poems and short stories. I’ve recently included a menu header with them all in one section entitled Poetry and Writing.
I’ve had fibromyalgia since 2004 and have kept working.
Fibromyalgia is not a degenerative disease; studies have shown, for most sufferers it will stay the same or improve. Knowing this fact can help to give you a positive outlook on your future. Perhaps working towards small achievable goals to improve your health.
When I was first diagnosed and before this. I felt tired, fatigued and had pain in my body for months that just got worse. Nothing I did seemed to help. To some extent it was a relief to find out what was wrong. I had managed to keep working and had odd days off. These days stretched into longer periods of time off.
After the fibromyalgia diagnosis, I slowly started to learn, how to manage my symptoms on a daily basis. Finding out my limitations and how much I could do without making my symptoms worse or triggering a flare up took time to find out. I found stress played a big part in making symptoms worse. Making sure I took adequate rest breaks during the day was essential.
At some point during these initial first weeks you will want to consider what changes you need to make in your life to help manage fibromyalgia symptoms. One of them may be to re-evaluate your work choices. Perhaps looking at alternative jobs after doing thorough research.
Thinking about what would help you do your existing job and talking to your employer is worth considering. Beforehand gather together evidence to support your diagnosis such as doctors letters. Get the support of your superior and other more senior staff. Explain what your symptoms are and how they affect you. Perhaps taking along a diary of symptoms, would be easier to illustrate how to adapt your job. Approach this in a positive way showing you can be flexible.
If you are newly diagnosed, your first step could be to educate others working with you, what fibromyalgia is. Your relationship with colleagues is important when your working, if they have a understanding of your condition it will help you feel more confident about work.
Things that could help you……
If you live in the UK have a look at the following information.
If your looking for a job, finding work with an employer in the UK who is disability confident can make a difference. Depending on what they have signed up to they are encouraged to recruit new staff and retain existing employees who would be defined under the equality act 2010 as having a disability.
The equality act 2010 states that all employers in the UK must make reasonable adjustments for people with disabilities, or a long term health condition, so they aren’t disadvantaged when carrying out their jobs.
Your employer can look at ways you can adapt your role, within the reasonable adjustments criteria. This could include switching your working hours to more suitable times or looking at special equipment to help you carry out your role.
A UK access to work assessment may be able to highlight things you have overlooked that could help you carry out your work. The assessor contacts you to find out more about your circumstances and makes recommendations to suit you.
So, what else can I do?
I personally think that having a long term health condition has made me more aware of my health and well-being. I look after myself better than some of my peers.
Because I need to exercise regularly to keep my body moving I have a very good awareness of what I need to do to keep as fit and healthy as possible.
Take a look at my pages on
Telling your family and friends and explaining how it affects you. With their support you will be able to achieve more.
Having a positive mental attitude and setting yourself realistic goals. I use meditation to help me find focus and a positive direction in my daily life. Follow my link to meditation for information about this.
Lastly…post me your experiences of working with fibromyalgia and other related illnesses.