8 gift ideas for your spoonie friend with fibromyalgia

Spoonie Gifts – Birthday, Christmas, Anniversary? What to get a Friend with Fibromyalgia

Do you have a spoonie/friend with Fibromyalgia/partner/spouse/whatever in your life? I thought I would make it easy for you by giving you a round up of all of the things I am currently wishing for!

8 gift ideas for your spoonie friend with fibromyalgia

Please note that some of my links are affiliate links, if you make a purchase I will make a small commission without extra cost to you.

Does your person with Fibromyalgia read a lot, like me? You can try Amazon Kindle Unlimited! Just sign up here Kindle Unlimited Membership Plans. Amazon Kindle Unlimited gives you unlimited reading (say what?), unlimited listening to their audiobooks. I would enjoy this.

Amazon Prime Gift Membership – you can give 3 or 12 month plans. They have access to: FREE Two-Day Shipping on millions of items; No minimum order size; Instant streaming of thousands of movies and TV shows; Unlimited, ad-free access to over a million songs and hundreds of playlists. All of these are useful for tired night ins, flare days and just life in general! You can find it here Give the Gift of Amazon Prime. As I said above, I read a lot and one of my favourite authors is Jennifer L. Armentrout – and I cannot think about Amazon Prime without thinking of a character in the book Brave who is obsessed with Amazon Prime!

Sunbeam Microplush Heated Electric Throw Blanket – I’ve written a lot about how heat helps. A self-heating heat pack would have been my ideal, until I saw this. It’s like an electric blanket for the couch. Perfect for a cold winter’s night or the sore Fibro friend.

Morning tea – maybe your friend would love to get out of the house and have a cup of coffee and a croissant at Starbucks with you. If they don’t drive, perhaps you could pick them up and drop them home.

Dinner – as a related item, perhaps you could bring them your signature delicious dish and share a meal with them at home.

Essential Oils Starter Kit – I have been learning a lot about essential oils for natural health lately. You can sign up here for access to my free resources page with downloadable report about Essential Oils. This set of six is a nice starter pack.

Melissa vs Fibromyalgia: My Journey Fighting Chronic Pain, Chronic Fatigue and Insomnia – how about my book? This is everything I have researched, written and learntMelissa vs Fibromyalgia book cover about to fight Fibromyalgia. It’s how I went from miserable to thriving – I still have Fibromyalgia, but it doesn’t dominate as much as it used to.

Something that is completely free – a compassionate ear. Please be there for them. The best gift we could ever receive is unconditional acceptance.

 

 


For more information

sign up to newsletter

My Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) for Fibromyalgia One Year Experiment

It’s been a year since my giant experiment with low dose naltrexone (LDN). What a year it has been.
 See my post LDN, Fibromyalgia and Me for my last update. Also see Low Dose Naltrexone: An Experiment my first post introducing the experiment.
How Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) Changed My Life

Affiliate notice: Please note that some of my links may be affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

How Low Dose Naltrexone works in a nutshell

It works in the endocannabinoid system – it temporarily blocks the receptors encouraging the body to make more endorphins. There’s research and explanations in my introductory post here and in the chapter about LDN in my book Melissa vs Fibromyalgia. I also created a printable of the LDN chapter from my book with research list so that you can do some research and take it to your doctor in my Etsy shop here.
I like the fact that LDN essentially spurs your own body into action and there are few side effects. There is also plenty of research and patient evidence. Groups on Facebook about LDN and the LDN research trust have a wealth of knowledge.

So here are the five benefits I have noted from LDN:

Five ways LDN is changing my life

Benefit One Sleep

What it’s helped me with – first and foremost is sleep. For the ten years or so prior to LDN I had not slept in more than one hour blocks, that’s rarely completing a whole sleep cycle, therefore my body was in chronic deep sleep deprivation. Since LDN, I can sleep in two, three, four or even five hour blocks! I am so grateful for this, I can’t even tell you. I believe this is what has created the other benefits.
Please do note that I still have to take amitriptyline to get to sleep and enact my sleep hygiene list daily.

Benefit Two Pain

Since about nine months into treatment I have noticed a reduction in neck pain. Neck pain has been a 24/7 issue for over 10 years. In 2017, while starting LDN, I learnt that my neck issue is actually myofascial pain syndrome. After throwing the severe, recurring “muscle knots” (trigger points) into the fibro basket, I finally had an answer. The physiotherapist has been helping me to work on these trigger points through intramuscular needling  (gently inserting a tiny needle into the trigger point and letting it relax a little) and neck mobilisations. This and the sleep (potentially reducing the fibromyalgia worsening the issue) has helped. My pain levels were 6-8/10 with severe headaches (with dizziness and nausea) daily back in 2010 before I started this journey. Just prior to LDN they were approximately 4-6/10 with occasional severe headaches. In early 2018, after one year on LDN, the average is 3-4/10 with the occasional spike to 5/6 with a bad headache and it’s usually when I’ve overdone it.

Benefit Three Emotional

If you haven’t lived with pain that interrupts sleep, interferes with daily life all day, every day for over a decade or been unable to sleep for more than an hour at a time for about the same length of time – it’ll be hard to convey the depth of impact on my emotional well-being.
Not fighting to sleep at 3am, not swapping pillows, getting my heat pack, applying pain cream and basically not sleeping due to unrelenting pain is huge for me.
My quality if life is so much better. I never let myself lose hope, but it was dwindling. This was a necessary win.

Benefit Four Stamina

Slowly my stamina increased. Activities that used to wipe me out can be tolerated for longer. I can exercise slightly more. I can do slightly more.
Having had a baby with reflux, I feel I coped exceptionally well and that is down to LDN. The demands on a mama of two is much higher than a mama with one! It’s been a busy year.

Benefit Five Fatigue

Fatigue is the second of my two worst symptoms (neck pain being the first). Yes, that’s “is” not “was”. It’s improved but I still have a limited energy envelope. I can get through the day on a 15 minute meditation and a brief sit down with the heat pack. I still can’t physically stay up past 9pm and that’s a fair trade off to me.

A Note on Pregnancy

I did some research around the use of LDN in pregnancy for my book and found a fertility doctor who has been using it for years and it’s had benefits for mama and baby.
There isn’t a lot of literature around medicine use in pregnancy, but I took what I had and presented my choice to stay on it to my doctor. We decided for my context it was worth continuing. But that is individual and you need to take the research to your doctor if you are considering taking it during pregnancy – know your stuff in case your doctor doesn’t, they’ll hopefully appreciate the information.

Conclusion

LDN is not a miracle medicine nor standalone treatment option for me, but it is changing my life and I’m so thankful.

For more information

sign up to newsletter
Free eCourse sign up you vs fibromyalgia
Melissa vs Fibromyalgia book cover

My book is everything I have researched and do to fight Fibromyalgia

Navigating Pain Relief in Pregnancy with Fibromyalgia

Pain relief is a big issue for those who live with chronic pain. It becomes an even bigger issue during pregnancy. For those of us whose symptoms worsen during pregnancy, it’s a minefield.

Author’s Note: This article appeared first on The MightyNavigating Pain Relief

My fifth tip for pregnancy with Fibromyalgia is to get a pain management plan in place – preferably prior to becoming pregnant.

There are some medicines that are categorically unsafe for pregnancy. There are a lot of medicines that they just don’t know enough about, performing experiments on pregnant women, particularly involving something that may harm a baby, would be unethical. So literature relies on data provided by pregnant women. This website Mother to Baby  provides fact sheets, access to professionals about medicine in pregnancy and more.

The first thing to do when considering pregnancy with a chronic pain-based illness would be to discuss plans for pregnancy with your doctor. With my first pregnancy, we didn’t talk to the doctor before conceiving, and then when we were discussing the only medicine I was on (amitriptyline) I nearly had a panic attack at the thought of going off it. My doctor called a specialist and they agreed that the benefits outweighed the potential risks – for me and my unique situation.

Sleep is a big battle for me, I enact a long list of sleep hygiene tactics every day; take a low dose of amitriptyline at 8pm, take a low dose of naltrexone (I only started this after I had my second baby, prior to this I would take pain medicine at this time) at 9pm, get into bed with my heat pack, do a body scan meditation, and if I’m lucky, fall asleep for a few hours at a time. A good night sees me fall asleep relatively quickly and only lose an hour to awake or restless times. It would appear that the second the pregnancy hormones enter my body, sleep runs away screaming. Pain also becomes a much bigger issue when I have to lie on my side (as you must once baby gets big enough to put pressure on an important vein when lying on your back).

You do not have to be miserable, there’s also research that suggests that under treated pain can negatively affect the pregnancy.[1] So if your doctor refuses to help you with pain relief, get a second opinion. Do some research for yourself and present it to them. I provide what I did during pregnancy to be as well as possible in my book Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia.

Here are a few natural pain relief mechanisms that I enacted during my pregnancies:

·         Heat pack
·         Warm shower or bath
·         Essential oils such as lavender and peppermint (for external use only and with a carrier oil after the first trimester) – sign up to the newsletter to receive my free report about Essential Oils for managing pain
·         Magnesium oil (I never got a calf cramp in my second pregnancy using this)
·         Gentle walks and stretching
·         Meditation – especially ones specifically for pain relief on pregnancy, there’s heaps on YouTube to search up
·         Massage – either for yourself, or from a partner, friend, or therapist
·         Rest and sleep as much as you can
·         Belly support belt – I had symphysis pubis disorder (my pelvis basically widened too far) and this really helped.

I always recommend remembering that pregnancy is finite, there is an end date and a beautiful baby as the pay off. I also was a bit smug in my second pregnancy because I knew that I am one of those very rare women who actually sleep better with a new born baby than pregnant, the pain levels are just so high that sleep is almost non-existent in the final trimester. Last year, once I delivered my second baby, my bed that had previously felt as hard as a rock seemed luxuriously soft. So in those one, two or three hours that the baby was asleep – I slept like the dead, which is a very rare occurrence for me.

I really hope that this post helps you on your way to relieving some of the pain involved in pregnancy with a chronic illness.
[1] Malaika Babb, PharmD, Gideon Koren, MD FRCPC FACMT, and Adrienne Einarson, RN. Treating pain during pregnancy. Can Fam Physician. 2010 Jan; 56(1): 25, 27. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2809170/


For more information about pregnancy and Fibromyalgia:

sign up to newsletter

This article is also available as a free PDF printable in my free resources page. Sign up to receive access here. My free micro course Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia: Arm Yourself with Knowledge is also available here.

 

 

 

 

Pregnancy andFibromyalgia_resources

 

 

6 Books for those with Chronic Illness and a Giveaway!

Are you ready to spring clean your healthy habits in 2018?

We’ve compiled a list of books perfect for people living with chronic illness who want to make impactful changes to their health and life.

6 Books about Chronic Illness and a Giveaway!

Enter to WIN 6 BOOKS!

If you would like a chance to win all of these books, then head on over to the giveaway page!

The books are:

Affiliate notice: Please note that some of my links are affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may make a commission at no extra cost to you.

yoga for chronic pain coverYoga for Chronic Pain: 7 Steps to Aid Recovery From Fibromyalgia Through Yoga by: Kayla Kurin – In this book Kayla tells us how she utilises the benefits of yoga for chronic pain. See my review here!

Thriving in the Workplace with Autoimmune Disease: Know Your Rights, Resolve Conflict, and Reduce Stress by: Holly Bertone – “This is the first book ever to educate individuals specifically with autoimmune disease on their legal and disability rights in the workplace.”

Melissa vs. Fibromyalgia: My Journey Fighting Chronic Pain, CMelissa vs Fibromyalgia book coverhronic Fatigue, and Insomnia by: Melissa Reynolds – This is my book! This is where I share everything I have researched, learnt and do to fight Fibromyalgia.

Radical Health: Insightful, Humorous, Compelling by: James Lilley – “This book will help you get from simply surviving to thriving in easy to understand steps.”

The Complete Guide to Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis: A Road Map to Long-Term Healing by: Alexa Fredrico – “There is no clearly defined path that newly diagnosed people should follow and therein lies the author’s motivation for this book.” Alexa is another chronic illness blogger who found a disappointing lack of whole-person health-focused information for her illness and so created it!


If you love reading you can try Amazon Kindle Unlimited! Just sign up here Kindle Unlimited Membership Plans. Amazon Kindle Unlimited gives you unlimited reading (say what?), unlimited listening to their audiobooks.


The Easy Anti-Inflammatory Diet: Fast and Simple Recipes for the 15 Best Anti-Inflammatory Foods (HARDCOPY) by: Karen Frazier – “Chronic inflammation has been linked to just about every health concern out there, and research indicates that certain foods are the root cause. But with the plethora of information available on the Internet, it can be difficult to know exactly which foods an anti inflammatory diet consists of—and moreover, how to easily incorporate it into your daily life.”

If you would like a chance to win all of these books, then head on over to the giveaway page!

Sharing is caring, please feel free to share this post so that your friends can have a chance to enter too!


For more information

sign up to newsletter

To purchase your own copy of my book

Melissa vs Fibromyalgia book cover

Natural Pain Relief: Supplements for Fibromyalgia Energy

With the world’s eye on those of us suffering from chronic pain, I feel like bad news is delivered daily into my inbox with newsletters or articles telling me I can’t access something that helps me manage. Opoids came under fire, now NSAIDS are ready for scrutiny. We know the medicines we need aren’t ideal but neither is chronic sleep deprivation or untreated pain. Seriously, there’s research!
To this end, I have decided to work through as many natural options as I can find to help you navigate potential new options for treatment.
The first post was for herbs you can infuse at home. The next was supplements for Fibromyalgia pain.
Natural Pain Relief Mechanisms supplements energy.png
This one is supplements for fibromyalgia energy. There is a seemingly endless list and I have done a lot of research on this area, but here I’ll present what I’ve tried with honest feedback.
There are some affiliate links here, I may make a small commission on any purchases at no extra cost to you.

CoQ10

In this article from Fibro Daze about improving mitochondrial function, coq10 is mentioned: “Researchers who studied the link between mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress and inflammation in fibromyalgia concluded that CoQ10 has a potential therapeutic role in the condition. In one study, supplementation with 300 mg of coenzyme Q10 a day was found to be associated with clinical improvements, including a significant reduction in pain, fatigue, and morning tiredness.”
I tried this a few years ago and wasn’t impressed, however I would like to try this again now that I have a few more of my jigsaw puzzle pieces in place. I’ll update you.
For my free report Essential Oils for Natural Pain Relief sign up here.

D-ribose

This is a favourite of Dr Teitelbaum for energy, and a lot of people swear by it. Katarina from Skillfully Well sums up the case for D ribose well, “Mitochondria produce the energy, called ATP, used by your cells to carry out all their functions. D-ribose is essential to the production of ATP. Therefore, taking additional D-ribose should help to support mitochondrial function and improve energy output in fatigued patients.”
Personally, I derived no energy from it. Here’s my post about going on and off again to see if it would make a difference for me.
I suspect the mitochondrial support supplements don’t help me due to my fatigue potentially more effected by sleep (or the lack of). Though it isn’t the full picture.

Adrenal Support Herbs

It is not yet clear if adrenal fatigue causes Fibromyalgia, Fibromyalgia causes adrenal fatigue or they are completely separate. Though the body is a whole and I can see what effects so many systems (Fibromyalgia) could affect the adrenals, especially while the fight or flight response remains on overdrive.
I tried a generic adrenal support formula recently and didn’t feel any obvious effects from it. Ashwagandha (a common ingredient in these formulas) is meant to be supportive for those with energy troubles, “Ashwagandha, is an adaptogenic herb popular in Ayurvedic medicine that has shown incredible results for lowering cortisol and balancing thyroid hormones.”
Like a lot of things, it appears to be worth a try and I am glad to have ticked it off my list.

Acetyl L-Carnitine 

A study found, “Although this experience deserves further studies, these results indicate that LAC may be of benefit in patients with FMS, providing improvement in pain as well as the general and mental health of these patients.”
Unfortunately I found a tub and only managed four doses before I realised it was really upsetting my tummy.

For more information:

sign up to newsletter

For access to my free resource page, sign up here. This includes templates, reports and my free microcourses.

 

 

 

 

 

Graphic Printable Pain Relief with Templates

 To take the learning further I created a printable, based upon the chapter in my book Melissa vs Fibromyalgia and include templates for you to make your own plan: My Pain Relief Plan, My Medicine Plan and My Flare Relief Plan.

Some of my links are affiliate links, I may receive compensation at no extra cost to you if you purchase using these links. I never promote anything I don’t 100% support myself.

results of my survey, updated edition of pregnancy and fibromyalgia is out

Fibro Parents Survey Results & Big News about Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia Book

As I have indicated earlier, I didn’t quite feel like I had finished with the release of my book Fibro Mama Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia. There were some chapters missing. So I did some research and added a few extra chapters like Pain Management for Fibromyalgia in Pregnancy, Fertility and Fibromyalgia and Labour and Fibromyalgia. I also felt like we needed to hear from other parents who have done this journey, so I created a second survey Fibro Parents Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia Survey 2018.
Affiliate notice: Please note that some of my links are affiliate links, I may make a small commission if you make a purchase at no extra cost to you.
call for info
I sent it out to my social media networks and received 20 amazing responses. Here is a summary (the rest is included in the updated edition of Fibro Mama Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia, more information about that below).

Responses

100% of respondents had Fibromyalgia. 70% found their pain worse during pregnancy. 35% took no medication during pregnancy, 25% took paracetamol/acetaminophen, 20% took medicines not directly related to Fibromyalgia, 10% took Gabapentin, 5% took an antidepressant and 5% took anti nausea medicine.
The most popular natural pain relief mechanism was heat: warm showers/baths and heat packs, with rest a close second. Epsom salts, chiropractic care, massage, ice pack and essential oils all received mentions too.
Now we got some amazing advice from these fibro parents, I include most of them in the book and three below:

Caroline’s advice

How did you manage your pain/fatigue during pregnancy?
Showers, massage, physical therapy, rest
How did you manage in those early weeks with baby?
Lots of help, showers
Do you have any advice for other fibro parents about parenting with fibromyalgia?
Pay attention to the weather as it greatly affects fibro. Watch your diet, plan your days according to the weather, how much sleep you got, and what you eat. Nap at least once a day with your little ones.

Elizabeth’s advice

How did you manage your pain/fatigue during pregnancy?
I survived 3 pregnancies through pure determination, lots of essential oils, rest and help from friends and family. Finding a good doctor that understands that a chronic pain body’s endorphins do not actually help with the pain is paramount. (This can be frustrating and difficult). Make sure you don’t give into your cravings because often they will make your fibro flare.
How did you manage in those early weeks with baby?
Casseroles and family. Accept all the help that is offered and if you need more, ask! Most people don’t want to step on toes but are more than happy to help, especially if there’s a new baby. 🙂 It’s ok if your house isn’t spick and span. If the laundry is washed, that can be good enough. Use paper plates to cut down on dishes. Be nice to yourself!! Cut yourself extra slack.
Do you have any advice for other fibro parents about parenting with fibromyalgia?
Teach your children to be super helpers!

Hannah’s advice

How did you manage your pain/fatigue during pregnancy?
Chiropractor, massage, acupuncture, and sleep/rest
How did you manage in those early weeks with baby?
Lots of help from family and husband, found breastfeeding very tiring and strain on neck and back so had to use support aids or lay in bed to feed. Naps when baby napped were crucial. Treated myself to dark chocolate or some snack as often as possible while feeding baby so I was doing self-care. Gentle walks and yoga were good too.
Do you have any advice for other fibro parents about parenting with fibromyalgia?
You can’t pour from an empty cup but with fibromyalgia you almost always feel empty, but you can do this. Remember self-care is taking care of your baby in long run and that you know what works and is right for you so please take all advice on board but don’t think it’s the law and has to be used. Also mother groups it’s okay to not like them I hated them or didn’t find the right mums doesn’t mean you’re alone though we fibromyalgia are probably all just online so talk to us! I also think this time round I’m writing a list of helpful jobs people can do for me with as I found it difficult asking for help and people may not know what to offer and you might be so tired in pain you can’t properly communicate. So I’m hoping just having a help task list might be a good compromise. It also something my husband a toddler can learn to look at together on weekends maybe.
I can’t thank the people who took the time to respond to the survey enough for their time and answers.

Big Announcement

definitive edition pregnancy and fibro.png
It’s time to announce that my extended edition of Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia is now live! It includes everything from before (with extra content) plus the additional THREE chapters (one of these is a big chapter on pain management) and the results of this survey with the case studies from other fibro parents. I have also added to the list of natural pain relief mechanisms significantly. You can head on over to Amazon and order it now! For this week it will be on special (it depends on your currency, so head on over to check out the price for where you are). From April 7 the new price come into effect.
There, I feel content. If I never write another word about pregnancy and Fibromyalgia again, I feel satisfied I have told you all I can.

 


For more information:

sign up to newsletter

Take the learning further:

Pregnancy and Fibro eCourse

Yoga for Chronic Pain by Kayla Kurin Book Review

“Yoga and meditation led me to a new way of thinking about my body and about what the worlds ‘illness’ and ‘health’ mean. It gave me the tools I needed to manage my pain and fatigue, and live a full life, even when I wasn’t feeling my best. Eventually, it led to my full recovery.” – Kayla Kuran, Yoga for Chronic Pain: 7 Steps to Aid Recovery from Fibromyalgia with Yoga.
If you’ve been following my work for any amount of time you’ll know I’m obsessed with yoga and meditation.
Yoga is a multi use tool for strength and pain management. Meditation is my favourite tool for deep rest and pain relief and has decreased my funky fight or flight response.
Yoga for Chronic Pain Book Review image
Affiliate notice: Please note that some of my links are affiliate links, if you make a purchase, I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you.
As soon as I heard about Kayla Kuran’s book Yoga for Chronic Pain: 7 Steps to Aid Recovery from Fibromyalgia with Yoga, I was like “Me! Me! Pick me!” And Kayla kindly sent me a copy.
The book begins with Kayla’s journey and how yoga helped her on her journey to wellness.

 If you love reading you can try Amazon Kindle Unlimited! Just sign up here Kindle Unlimited Membership Plans. Amazon Kindle Unlimited gives you unlimited reading (say what?), unlimited listening to their audiobooks.

Step one invites you to learn about your pain.
Here we learn the difference between acute and chronic pain and how chronic pain affects the autonomic nervous system.
There’s a good action point here – start a journal and track your symptoms and what the context was to catch the patterns.
Step two delves into the science of yoga.
Here we learn about the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda and how it helped Kayla on her journey. Ayurveda provides a more individualized answer for us and is holistic in nature.
Step three is all about taming the mind through mindfulness.
Here I found the answer as to why meditating instead of attempting to nap (and getting frustrated about being unable to) – because I’m focusing on what I can control (practicing meditation) and not on what I can’t (sleep). The frustration is secondary and controllable. The sleep is primary and not in my control.
Kayla provides five ways to use meditation. And encourages us to set a mindful goal for your pain management plan. Something we can control (like meditating instead of napping, doing some breathing practice before bed).
Step four using breath as am energy source and takes you through some options for practice. Here she talks about Yoga Nidra guided meditation which I adore for coping with sleep deprivation.
Step five yoga postures to relieve pain – this is the jam!
“Yoga and meditation help rewire the brain. In yoga we call this namaskar, and in the scientific world, it’s called neuroplacticity.” 
There are two practices offered – a morning flow and an evening restorative and both are just lovely. There is also guidance for making a flare up plan that involves yoga.
Step six self care – this includes yogic self care such as massage, meditation and following your passions. There’s also some good tips for getting sleep and for reorienting how you think about sleep.
Step seven invites us to take mindfulness into daily life.
If you enact the actions Kayla provides, you will certainly be on a positive step on your way to fighting Fibromyalgia.
You can get your copy of Yoga for Chronic Pain here.

For more information

sign up to newsletter

You can find my book, which is everything I know and do to fight Fibromyalgia, including yoga and meditation here:

Melissa vs Fibromyalgia book cover

necessary baby items for a parent with Fibromyalgia

Necessary Baby Items for a Fibro Parent

There are a multitude of nursery items and almost as many articles about which ones are necessary. Here’s my recommendations for a fibro parent, or really, any parent!

Some of my links are affiliate links, I receive compensation at no extra cost to you if you purchase using these links. I never promote anything I don’t 100% support myself.

necessary items

Below are some the items I found indispensable for a mama with Fibromyalgia:

My boy in his bouncy when he was teeny tiny

My boy in his bouncy when he was teeny tiny

  • Cot. With an easy to put up and down side, or an opening in the front.
  • Bassinet. We tried a different option with each baby. Both were easy to move and that was very helpful. I wished for a beside bassinet with fold down side so I didn’t have to get in and out of bed so much and to make co-sleeping a safe option. This 3-in-1 is a great idea, it is a bedside crib and a pack and play.
  • Changing table. We weren’t going to buy one, I had thought that I could get by without one. But, being given one has been a lifesaver. I have everything I need to change them on the shelf and can lay them down at the right height for changing. You could even use a set of drawers that are the right height with a change mat on the top and the top drawer full of your supplies.
  • A rocking chair. My husband and I clashed about this one. He didn’t think it was necessary. I believed with all my heart that it was. I ended up getting a second hand one and it has been so useful. For nursing, expressing or just rocking when you’re too tired to stand, it was worth it. Nursing for a mama with Fibromyalgia can be tricky, so a comfortable place to nurse is a good idea – check out my post on nursing with Fibromyalgia here.
IMG_5471

Out and about with our City Mini

  • Infant capsule seat with folding pushchair frame. We didn’t get one before Noah was born because I thought it would be too heavy for me to lift. I was right, very quickly it became a real burden to carry. However, with the frame and the fact that Noah was not a good napper, it turned out to be invaluable. At some stage early on I noticed that he was tired by about 9 in the morning, but struggled to get to sleep. So we began leaving the house (rain or shine) either via the car or walking. He learned to nap this way. The seat and frame meant that I could seamlessly move from car to shops to car to home easily.
  • A Boppy pillow/feeding pillow. I loved this, it was so useful for nursing and to let the baby’s lie down and watch the world go by. It was a real lifesaver when the boys were small to sit them on it and let them watch me potter around the living area. It was also great for Wyatt with his reflux, he took some of his naps on it. We always used it with supervision because there is a chance of baby slipping down and cutting their airway off by pushing their chin forward.
  • A front pack. This is a difficult one. On the one hand, you are going to hold the weight anyway, so why not distribute it more evenly. On the other, from about six months my little guys became too heavy for my shoulders to bear for too long. I would like a sling for the first few months if I do it again.

I loved the Gemini Beco – it goes from 7 pounds/3kg, which both of my babies started off at!

IMG_20170408_100432

Happy and snuggling in his Gemini Beco carrier

  • A bath seat. This has meant that I don’t have to hold their weight while they were in the bath and it’s far more easy to wash them.
IMG_20140905_165421

Noah enjoying his bathseat

  • Jolly Jumper. We used this once his neck was strong, at about four months. This was lovely for me when he was super fussy and I was super tired. It gave me ten minutes of time out from holding him.
  • Portacot. We didn’t get one until Noah was eight months old as we thought it was unnecessary once he outgrew the bassinet stage. We were wrong. It has been invaluable. The portacot means that my boys could sleep at either grandparents house, so we don’t have a to squish a visit in between naps or push out naps. This one is lightweight and easy for travel, I like Phil and Ted’s brand but the prices in New Zealand are prohibitive. This one is actually similar price to what we paid for a very basic one.
  • One thing they can use to pull themselves up with. When he started to develop the ability to pull himself up, we got a table type toy where he can stand and play. This is a useful thing to let them stand without you holding them.

We got one similar to this. Again, this lasted for both of our boys.

  • Baby seat. This was something I wanted but didn’t purchase until he was already sitting on his own. It would have been useful before this as he loved to sit and see so it could have bought me more non holding time. Now we use it, strapped to a chair as his highchair. We can also take it when we go away. He will be able to use this until he’s tall enough to sit on a chair at the table, without the space a highchair takes.

We used a seat very much like this. We bought it for Noah and now use it for Wyatt when we are out.

  • Bouncinette/Electronic Rocker. This was one of those things that buys you some non holding time that you so desperately need when they’re clingy or your sore or you need to get stuff done.
IMG_20140716_130256

Noah in his electronic rocker

Did you know that Amazon has a baby registry? You can sign up here Shop Amazon – Create an Amazon Baby Registry It’s basically a mobile registry (available anywhere!)and you will be eligible for discounts and rewards. If you’re going to purchase some of your items from Amazon, you may as well sign up.

Is there anything else to add? Was there one awesome thing you would not do without?


For more information about pregnancy and Fibromyalgia:

sign up to newsletter

Pregnancy andFibromyalgia_resources

definitive edition pregnancy and fibro

My book is everything I have researched and learnt over two pregnancies.

Some of my links are affiliate links, I may receive compensation at no extra cost to you if you purchase using these links. I never promote anything I don’t 100% support myself.

Living the Best Life with Fibromyalgia: A Book Review

At this point, I’ve read a lot of the research and books by doctors with Fibromyalgia, what really perks my ears up is a book written by a fellow fibro fighter.

Alisha Nurse interviewed me for her Overcomers series recently and I began reading her book Living the Best Life with Fibromyalgia. She gave me a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

Affiliate notice: Please note some of my links are affiliate links, if you make a purchase, I may make a small commission. 

It has a pretty and inspiring cover:

living your best life.PNG

Image from GoodReads

In the introduction, Nurse shares how she was diagnosed – after years and years of being fobbed off by doctors (sounds familiar).

The chapters are broken into: Challenges, Diet, Recipes, Medication and Supplements, Lifestyle, Meaningful Living with a summary at the end.

In challenges Nurse presents some of the key issues we face.
The symptoms

“Each of us battles our demon symptom, the one symptom that is king above all else. For me, that’s the chronic exhaustion. But my GP says there is nothing she can recommend for me except exercise.”

I can relate to this, my demon symptom is my neck and doctors have been generally unhelpful.

Other challenges include: the people who disbelieve us. The impact of stress. The invisibility of our illness.

In Diet, Nurse outlines how she (step by step) implemented dietary changes. She provides a list of healthy foods.

The recipe section includes some nourishing teas to try and some delicious, nutritious foods.

In the medicines and supplements chapter she discussed an important point around medicines:

“When I consider how fibromyalgia steals our dreams and lives, I staunchly decided that I would have some quality of life on medication than have a longer life in a worse off position.”

I want to thank Alisha for this piece of honesty with which I wholeheartedly concur.

In Lifestyle, Nurse lists some good, practical tips for living well with fibromyalgia. Including eating well, Epsom salt baths, exercise, pacing, managing stress.

Meaningful Living – help others, have empathy and faith.

“Have faith, believe and work without ceasing.”

In this compact handbook, Nurse provides you with some of the things that have helped her. Hopefully you can find something here to help you on your journey.

Find her book here.
Find her website here.

If you love reading, like me, you can try Amazon Kindle Unlimited! Just sign up here Kindle Unlimited Membership Plans. Amazon Kindle Unlimited gives you unlimited reading (say what?), unlimited listening to their audiobooks


For more information:

sign up to newsletter

Find my book, which is everything I know and do to fight Fibromyalgia:

Melissa vs Fibromyalgia book cover

 

Natural Pain Relief: Supplements for Fibromyalgia Pain

With the world’s eye on those of us suffering from chronic pain, I feel like bad news is delivered daily into my inbox with newsletters or articles telling me I can’t access something that helps me manage. Narcotics came under fire, now NSAIDS are ready for scrutiny. We know the medicines we need aren’t ideal but neither is chronic sleep deprivation or untreated pain. Seriously, there’s research!
To this end, I have decided to work through as many natural options as I can find to help you navigate potential new options for treatment.
The last post was for herbs you can infuse at home.

 

This one is supplements for fibromyalgia pain. There is a seemingly endless list and I have done a lot of research on this area, but here I’ll present what I’ve tried with honest feedback.
Natural Pain Relief Mechanisms supplements pain.png
There are some affiliate links here, I may make a small commission on any purchases at no extra cost to you. 

Curamin/Curcumin with bonus herbs

Curamin “is a blend of all natural ingredients such as DLPA, boswellia and nattokinase which are proven anti-inflammatory compounds. DLPA boosts the effectiveness of endorphins and enkephalins (pain relievers already in the body), nattokinase boosts circulation and alleviates muscle pain by balancing fibrogren levels in the body while boswellia has been known to remove pro-inflammatory compounds.”
Curcumin (with black pepper for absorbtion) is said to be a powerful pain reliever alone: “Together, curcumin and boswellia both found in Curamin reduce the activity of the two most significant pain pathways in the body – COX-2 and 5-LOX.”
I first tried Curamin a few years ago and was so relieved at the difference it made in my neck. This was before LDN so nothing had helped at that point. The effects did seem to wear off, so it will be rotated back in when I have finished my current round of experiments.

MSM 

MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) is an organic sulfur-containing compound that is meant to help with pain in the tendons, ligaments and muscles.
Dr Axe outlines six benefits of taking MSM, including joint pain, digestive problems and muscle pain and spasms (a biggie for me): “Research suggests that MSM can act like a natural analgesic, helping prevent and treat muscle aches and pains, throbbing and swelling while improving range of motion and mobility.”
This is a supplement I take regularly. It helps with muscle, tendon and ligament pain as well as a wealth of other potential benefits.
For my free report Essential Oils for Natural Health and other free reports click here.

Magnesium 

Almost all literature will point those with chronic pain toward magnesium. “Magnesium supplementation is critical to the treatment of fibromyalgia. One study showed that 300 to 600mg of magnesium malate per day had very positive results in decreasing the number and severity of tender points in fibromyalgia. Malic acid (derived from apples) by itself is also helpful in fibromyalgia.” This is from Dr DeMarco.com
I have taken magnesium in some form for a long time. Currently, I use it in oil form and apply it at bedtime. During my second pregnancy I applied it to my calves every night and was never woken with excruciating calf craps like in the first pregnancy.

Fibromalic/Malic Acid

This one caught my eye due to the combination of ingredients. Malic acid is said to be helpful for Fibromyalgia, as alluded to in the quote above. This product includes: Malic acid 400mg, Devil’s Claw 100mg, Boswellia 50mg, Vitamin C 5mg, Vitamin B6 2.5mg, Chromium 25mcg, Magnesium 50mg. It would appear this specific formulation is not available on Amazon, that link is to the brand Radiance which we can get here in New Zealand. But any magnesium and malic acid blend could suit.
This list is just a start as I could go on researching for a long time! Part of this information is taken from the Pain Management module from You vs Fibromyalgia course.

Special note for those who want to kick their fight against Fibromyalgia up a notch:

My eCourse You vs Fibromyalgia is seven modules to help you navigate what You vs Fibro full ecourseFibromyalgia is, pain relief, sleep, meditation, yoga, pacing and boundaries and brain fog to help you in your fight. Enrollments opens 1st March 2018 and the early bird offer (special price and free bonus lesson) closes on the 15th March 2018. So get in quick – there’s a few days left!

sign up to newsletter

For access to my free resource page, sign up here. This includes printable templates, reports and my free micro courses.